N. Korea's new missile could be deployable by 2018


After North Korea released video footage and photographs of Hwasong-15, analysts have said they appeared to show the North was indeed capable of delivering a nuclear weapon anywhere in the United States and could only be two or three tests away from being combat ready.

Earlier on Thursday, Pentagon Chief James Mattis said that the US intends to "tirelessly" seek to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue with the help of the United Nations and will make diplomatic efforts to persuade Pyongyang to abandon the programs for the development of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery.

South Korea said it expected Pyongyang to pause its provocative missile testing program following Wednesday's successful flight of its new Hwasong-15 missile, which can reach the USA mainland.

The country's state media announced the test on Wednesday, hours after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile, which reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile.

The blockade became a center of inquiry after Defense Minister Song Young-moo said Seoul would be compelled to take part in sanctions along with the United States, should Washington call for a blockade, The Korea Times reported. Moon was apparently told that, while the missile can be classified as an ICBM in terms of distance traveled, its atmospheric reentry, precision guidance in the terminal phase and warhead operation were not demonstrated because the test launch was not actually carried out at the normal angle.

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Yeo said the Hwasong-15 is 2 meters longer than the Hwasong-14; the second-stage engine requires further analysis.

During their talks, they shared the view that North Korea's repeated provocations pose a grave threat to the Korean Peninsula and global peace and security, it said. The latest provocation from the North prompted more insults from Trump, who referred to North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un as "Little Rocket Man" and a "sick puppy".

North Korea is known to test fewer missiles in the fourth quarter of the year, when troops are called to help with harvests and the cold strains its fuel supplies. "The puppet warmongers have pressed for the organization of the "decapitation unit" by taking advantage of the US imperialists' execution of their policy for aggression on the DPRK", read an article published on the state-controlled North Korean news agency KCNA, referring to the country by its official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Trump on Thursday also dismissed a Chinese diplomatic effort to rein in North Korea's weapons program as a failure. It launched an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-15, that state-controlled media described as the "most powerful ICBM" carrying a "super-large heavy warhead" to unprecedented heights of nearly 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles).

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously imposed a set of sanctions against North Korea on September 11 over the country's hydrogen bomb test which was conducted on September 3.